How much money South Africa’s biggest Supermarkets made in 2016

Determining which South African supermarket is the biggest depends on which factor you want to measure by.

Shoprite, with a pan-African operation is by far the biggest seller, bringing in revenue exceeding R130 billion in 2016, and it is also the biggest profit-spinner with operating profit of R7.2 billion recorded for the same year.

But if you measure “biggest” by store network, then Spar is by far the largest, with 3,765 stores across the group – and 2,033 in South Africa alone. This is far larger than Shoprite’s 1,519 stores across Africa.

If you are looking at the average profit for each store, Massmart (Makro, Dion Wired, Game) has the biggest per-store take, with an average of R6 million in profit at each of its 412 stores.

Shoprite is also the biggest employer among the major retailers – staffing close to 138,000 people across its operations – but it also pays the lowest average salary. Here, again, players like Massmart and even Spar, come in as ‘better’ employers.

Delving into the finances of South Africa’s biggest supermarket retailers, the tables below show how each group measures up when looking at these various metrics.

The data below reflects group operations, including stores and employees in countries outside of South Africa. All subsidiary brands of the groups are included.

The data below reflects the latest full year financial information available for 2016, and can be found here:

Revenue and operating profit

Supermarket Revenue Operating Profit
Shoprite R130.028 billion R7.278 billion
Woolworths R66.978 billion R6.969 billion
Spar R90.700 billion R2.600 billion
Massmart R91.250 billion R2.483 billion
Pick n Pay R77.500 billion R1.774 billion

Number of stores and average turnover / profit per store

Spar far outnumbers other retailers in South Africa, with total group stores (including those in Ireland and Switzerland) hitting 3,765. Even taking only the South African stores (2,033), it is the largest retailer.

Spar’s South African stores account for the biggest portion of the group profit (R2.1 billion), which is the amount reflected below.

Supermarket Number of stores Average profit per store
Massmart 412 R6.07 million
Woolworths 1 395 R4.99 million
Shoprite 1 519 R4.79 million
Pick n Pay 1 504 R1.18 million
Spar 2 033 R1.03 million

Number of employees and average salary per employee

The average salaries below reflect the rand value paid to all employees across the entire group – including operations outside of South Africa.

Supermarket Number of employees Employee salaries Average salary per employee
Massmart 13 139 R7.3 billion R555 597
Spar 6 387 R3.422 billion R535 775
Woolworths 43 140 R8.850 billion R205 146
Pick n Pay 52 900* R5.597 billion R105 803
Shoprite 137 775 R10.356 billion R75 166

* Reflects Pick n Pay employee numbers as at June 2016

CEO pay

Executive pay listed below is total remuneration including basic salary and short and long-term incentives. The salary gaps reflect how many more times executives earn than the average employee in their company.

Supermarket CEO CEO pay Average employee wage gap
Shoprite Whitey Basson R100.1 million 1 331
Pick n Pay Richard Brasher R33.8 million 319
Woolworths Ian Moir R53.7 million 262
Massmart Guy Hayward R13.8 million 25
Spar Graham O’Connor R9.1 million 17

Read: Price war 2017: Woolworths vs Spar vs Pick n Pay vs Checkers

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How much money South Africa’s biggest Supermarkets made in 2016